Property Alert update

nzThe first of October is only days away and (apart from the usual pinch-and-a-punch) things are about to get a whole lot uglier if you buy and sell property regularly. We won’t bore you with the new legislation, which is mind bending and best left to Chartered Accountants, but practically speaking there’s a couple of smart things worth knowing:

Continue reading Property Alert update

New tax exemption for children

19110294_sIt was all over the news.  The media went slightly crazy at the idea of children having to pay tax but most of them failed to mention the new tax exemption that was introduced for children from 2013 onwards.  With some careful planning your child might just be eligible.  Simply make sure they meet all of the following requirements:

Continue reading New tax exemption for children

Family Trusts under fire

016061344Did you happen to notice those sneaky little questions on your Census form about Trusts? It’s a sure sign that the Government is now ramping up its interest in Family Trusts (which you might recall, we predicted over two years ago). So, what does this mean for you? It means getting your Trust paperwork absolutely perfect to ensure that your Trust provides the protection you set it up for. Otherwise, you could be in for a rude (and expensive) shock.  To help you get started, we’ve attached links to some of our most popular articles about running family trusts properly. Enjoy! Continue reading Family Trusts under fire

Are you running your Trust properly?

7600825_sPeople regularly horrify me with the crazy way they run their family Trusts.  What they don’t realise is that even the simplest Trust needs to be run properly for it to have any real legal protection.  Are you running yours properly?  Take our test to find out: Continue reading Are you running your Trust properly?

Do I need a Trust?

5775915_sFamily Trusts aren’t right for everyone.  If you live a quiet little life, working for someone else and owning very little then the thousand odd dollars a year it costs to run a Family Trust probably isn’t worth it.  If, on the other hand, you’re more of a go-getter and own your home along with a successful business then having a Trust is not at all dissimilar to having an insurance policy to protect your assets if things go bad. Continue reading Do I need a Trust?

Do I need to do Accounts for my Trust

Annual ReportBlockbuster movies have us believing we’ll grow up to be something exciting like James Bond (or one of the Ghostbusters crew) but in reality I seem to have landed the much less coveted role of Myth-buster.  One myth I’m constantly up against is the one about Trusts not having to do Accounts (also known as financial statements) and like any urban myth there’s a minuscule element of truth to it but for the most part it’s completely wrong. Continue reading Do I need to do Accounts for my Trust

Risking it all as your friends Trustee

Trustee on Knife edgeFor some of us the closest we get to the excitement of an Oscar Nomination is being nominated to be a friend’s Trustee. But what exactly is a Trustee and can you get away with doing nothing more than signing a few forms every now and then?

Well, like anything in life, there’s always a tiny chance that you’ll get away with being a slacker but legally speaking being a Trustee comes with some chunky responsibilities and can put your own cash at risk Continue reading Risking it all as your friends Trustee

Gift duty going going gone

GiftWith gift duty abolished this week you may be tempted to gift everything in one lump sum but here are a few key things to think about first. Gifting all your debt so that the trust no longer owes you a penny may give you far better control over your Will/Estate.  It might also make it that bit harder for the Trust to be dragged into any  relationship property claims. But be careful because, without that debt, you might lose some control of the Trust and your ability to take money out of it. You may also stand to lose some tax benefits if Continue reading Gift duty going going gone